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427th Demian Crew
Julius Carl Demian, Pilot
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JULIUS CARL DEMIAN CREW - 427th BS
(crew assigned 427BS: 25 Dec 1944 - photo: Oct 1944)

(Back L-R) Cpl Joseph M. Ross, Jr. (WG), Cpl Donato J. Lombardi (R),
Cpl Harry L. Leach (E), Cpl Alfred D. Wilson (BT), Cpl Thomas A. Buford (TG)

(Front L-R) F/O Julius Carl Demian (P), F/O Bernard L. Tractman (N),
F/O William R. Rubins (B) F/O Earl R. Weatherby (CP)

[Crew ranks and grades when photo was taken in the USA]

Combat missions flown by F/O Julius C. Demian:
300 (10 Jan 45), 301, 302(A), 303, 304, 308, 309, 310(A), 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 331, 333, 334, 335, 337, 338, 339(CA), 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346 (24 Mar 45)
(A) Non-Credited Mechanical abort (CA) Credited Abort-Had reached enemy territory For mission dates and targets see the missions list.

Crew Notes:
  • F/O Julius C. Demian (P), S/Sgt Donato J. Lombardi (R), S/Sgt Alfred D. Wilson (BTG), Sgt Thomas A. Bufford (TG) - Flew on all of the F/O Demian missions listed above. 35 mission Combat tours completed on 24 March 1945. F/O Demian flew his first two missions 300 & 301) as CoPilot with a mission orientation Pilot, 2Lt Preston W. McKeon

  • F/O Earl L. Weatherby (CP) - Did not fly on six dispatched missions 300, 301, 302(A), 303, 345 & 346 with the F/O Demian Crew. Missions 357 & 358 flown with the 2Lt Malcolm F. Damon crew. 35 mission combat tour completed on 11 April 45.

  • F/O Bernard L. Tractman (N) - Missions 326, 328 & 329 flown with Lt Grafton N. Smith (P) and mission 327 flown with 2Lt Thomas F. Kahler (P). Other missions flown with F/O Demian (P). 35 mission combat tour completed on 24 March 45.

  • F/O William R. Rubins (B/N) - Missions after 23 Feb 45 flown as Navigator. Missions with F/O Demian: 300, 301, 302(A), 303, 304, 308,318, 319, 320 as Bombardier; 326, 327, 328, 329 as Navigator. Missions with other Pilots: 313, 324, 325 & 317 as Bombardier; 322(*), 324(*), 325(*), 327, 331, 333(*), 334(*), 335(*) & 337(*) as Navigator - (*) 7 missions with 1Lt Thomas W. Richardson.The 1Lt Richardson Crew landed at an airfield near Warsaw, Poland with a feathered engine on F/O Rubins' last mission #337 on 15 Mar 1945. All crewmen unhurt. F/O Rubins did not complete his 35 mission combat tour.

  • S/Sgt Harry L. Leach (E) - Flew on all of the F/O Demian missions except for 331 & 333 where a substitute Engineer was utilized. Make up missions were #355 and 356 with 2Lt Robert W. Krohn (P). 35 mission combat tour completed on 10 April 1945.

  • S/Sgt Joseph M. Ross, Jr. (WG & Tog) - Dispatched as Waist Gunner with F/O Demian on 12 missions (300, 301, 302(A), 303, 304, 308, 309, 310(A), 311, 318, 319 & 320). Flew as Togglier with F/O Demian on 26 missions (312, 313, 314, 315 & 317 where substitute Waist Gunners were utilized) and on all other mission on and after 23 Feb 45. Substitute Waist Gunners also used by the F/O Demian crew on missions 321, 327 & 341. The Waist Gunner position was eliminated from the F/O Demian crew on and after mission 322 on 24 Feb 45 except for missions 327 and 341 where a Waist Gunner was used. S/Sgt Ross completed his combat tour on 24 March 45.

  • The F/O Demian Crew used "Y Operators" on missions 301, 315, 322 and 346 and a "Spot Jammer" on mission 335.
Mission Notes F/O Demian Crew:
  • Mission #300 - 10 Jan 45 - Landed at Airfield A-69. Laon/Athies, France on their first combat in B-17G #42-102411 Miss Lace 427th BS (GN-Y). Returned to Molesworth in time for their 2nd mission on 13 January 45

  • Missions #302, 15 Jan 45 and #310, 11 Feb 45 - Missions aborted shortly after takeoff for mechanical problems, Were non-credited missions.

  • Mission #339, 18 March 45 - To Berlin, Germany in B-17G 42-97311 Shoo Shoo Baby, 427th BS (GN-O). Mission aborted after reaching enemy territory. Returned to Molesworth alone. Received credit for the aborted mission.
[photo courtesy of Gary A. Ziegler, nephew of B.L. Tractman]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]